Dunkin' Donuts Helps Wounded Vets, Duckworth to Help VA Use New Media to Reach Vets, Coming Healthcare Crisis?, Veterans Corps Bill
More PTSD Combat Diigo links.
More PTSD Combat Diigo links.
And now, back to reality.
After my glowing post yesterday, nodding to the many Army generals nudging military culture into the 21st century by admitting that anyone can and does get PTSD, it doesn't take long for things to come crashing back down to reality.
Michael de Yoanna and Mark Benjamin for Salon:
For more than a year he's been seeking treatment at Fort Carson for a brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, the signature injuries of the Iraq war. Sgt. X is also suffering through the Army's confusing disability payment system, handled by something called a medical evaluation board. The process of negotiating the system has been made harder by his war-damaged memory. Sgt. X's wife has to go with him to doctor's appointments so he'll remember what the doctor tells him.
But what Sgt. X wants to tell a reporter about is one doctor's appointment at Fort Carson that his wife did not witness. When she couldn't accompany him to an appointment with psychologist Douglas McNinch last June, Sgt. X tucked a recording device into his pocket and set it on voice-activation so it would capture what the doctor said. Sgt. X had no idea that the little machine in his pocket was about to capture recorded evidence of something wounded soldiers and their advocates have long suspected -- that the military does not want Iraq veterans to be diagnosed with PTSD, a condition that obligates the military to provide expensive, intensive long-term care, including the possibility of lifetime disability payments.
And, as Salon will explore in a second article Thursday, after the Army became aware of the tape, the Senate Armed Services Committee declined to investigate its implications, despite prodding from a senator who is not on the committee. The Army then conducted its own internal investigation -- and cleared itself of any wrongdoing.
Wisdom. What is it?
Something forged out of experience, certainly. Usually that wisdom-forging insight stems from a walk down a challenging or difficult path, and combat experience would surely qualify here, one requiring either cognitive or physical effort (or both) to overcome.
Cognitive elements might include grappling with the events of one's own life as well as contemplating the greater meaning of those experiences. This avenue to wisdom will also eventually lead to a consideration of the greater forces on one's life or the existence of a higher power.
And what would the value of all of this wisdom work be if its product is not shared with others -- no matter the cost?
Cited in Richard Hawley Trowbridge's doctoral dissertation, "The Scientific Approach of Wisdom," [doc] social psychologist and Rutgers University professor Deirdre A. Kramer distinguishes five specific functions of wisdom: (a) finding solutions to problems that confront the self; (b) advising others; (c) management of social institutions; (d) life review; and (e) spiritual introspection.
One function, as noted above, of wisdom concerns its responsibility and ties to social institutions. Again, what benefit would wisdom have if not shared with larger society through organized (and other) means? Those in positions of power to enlighten and broaden the knowledge and understanding base of society and its institutions, especially when the activity might threaten one's career or image, are to be applauded.
Those who do this work are our modern sages and heroes.
When I say hero, it is as described by Franciscan priest and writer Richard Rohr in his book, Quest for the Grail:
The American Plains warriors, according to ancient legend, used to say in the morning: "It's a good day to do great things." To be able to say that and mean it was a magnificent ambition. Such an aspiration stirs something deep in the heart of any [striving] to be a hero. ...
A hero, for the record, is not a saint, much less a god.
In the great mythologies and legends, the hero is always an ordinary human being, with at least one tragic flaw. A hero is one who simultaneously keeps an eye on himself and a goal beyond himself.
More PTSD Combat Diigo links.
While a wide variety of events can trigger what's called post-traumatic stress disorder, this PTSD blog focuses solely on the combat-related variety. As a new generation of warriors returns to civilian life and seeks out resources, PTSD Combat is here to help.
This is the online journal of Ilona Meagher, veteran's daughter and author of Moving a Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America's Returning Troops. You are invited to read my bio and stay connected via the networks to the right.
March 4, 2010 in DeKalb, IL - Northern Illinois University Veterans Club hosts its first-ever community Military Benefits/ Informational Fair, 12:00 to 4:30 p.m. Ilona is slated to be the guest speaker.
Spring, 2010 in Bethesda, MD - Uniformed Services University 5th Annual Amygdala, Stress and PTSD Conference, details TBA.
July 10-15, 2010 in Honolulu, HI - International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD).
More military conferences.
"The first shamans earned their keep in primitave societies by providing explanations and rituals that enabled man to deal with his environment and his personal anguish. Early man, no less than we, dealt with forces that he could not understand or control, and he attempted to come to grips with his vulnerablity by trying to bring order to his universe." -- Richard Gabriel in No More Heroes
"War stories end when the battle is over or when the soldier comes home. In real life, there are no moments amid smoldering hilltops for tranquil introspection. When the war is over, you pick up your gear, walk down the hill and back into the world." -- OIF vet John Crawford in The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell
"After wars' end, soldiers once again become civilians and return to their families to try to pick up where they left off. It is this process of readjustment that has more often than not been ignored by society. -- Major Robert H. Stretch, Ph.D in Textbook of Military Medicine: Vol. 6 Combat Stress
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